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Monument Little League

Generations of Playing Ball

Article by GJ Lifestyle Staff

Photography by C. W. Morgan, & Monument Little League

Originally published in Grand Junction Lifestyle

Nothing says summer in the Grand Valley like baseball. Monument Little League is a non-profit organization that has been sharing the love of the game with the rising generation for over 50 years. The league started out where Pomona Elementary currently sits, and later on, moved a bit south when George Humphries donated the land to the league. They have been growing and enjoying ball games ever since. 

Toby Cruz has been volunteering with Monument Little League for 36 years, with 22 of those years as he served as president of the board. Even though he turned that over to John Duffy 4 years ago, he is still heavily involved. While Toby served as president he worked to make steady improvements. Over the years, new dugouts were built, automatic sprinkler systems installed, fencing put in, new scoreboards installed, trees planted, new roofing and bathrooms being remodeled. It is constant progress and it is all for the kids. Toby wants to be sure they have a safe place to play and grow. Even his wife got in on the action and ran the concession stand for 25 years. 

We also talked with 3 coaches to get the scoop.

Shea Miller grew up playing softball in Arizona. She began coaching a couple of years ago when her daughter's team needed some help. She has been working to grow the softball side of Monument Little League. They now have 8 teams, with girls of all ages and abilities and are looking to grow more. Shea enjoys watching as her players take on a "we" rather than a "me" mindset. Sports help kids learn discipline as they grow and learn how to be athletes. She sees a pattern of higher standards in grades and behavior with the kids that play. Shea has been in Grand Junction for the last 14 years and loves that it is the biggest small town you'll ever encounter. 

John Huston's sons play ball and he could see the need for coaches to step up and volunteer their time. He is really glad he stepped up and has enjoyed the challenge of coaching. John loves showing the boys that one bad play does not need to change the outcome, whether that bad play is in baseball or in life. He wants the boys to learn from their mistakes but also treats them like amnesia - forget about them and move on. John says the league is a special place to watch kids grow up through generations of baseball. He wants you to know that their league always has a need for volunteers. 

Josh Borchers is passionate about providing opportunities for all kids and pushing them to try new things. As a coach, he enjoys watching the kids grow both on and off the field. His sons will be playing for the next several years and he is glad to be involved. Josh says that a lot of good things come out of playing baseball. It is amazing to see a kid set a goal and accomplish it. He is adamant about helping them grow through real world coaching both on and off the field. He is proud to be part of Monument Little League and supports their motto and structure. Monument is for kids. Monument thrives on creating opportunities for kids and making sure that all kids play.